Payment Services and E-money Business
Treuhänder und andere natürliche Personen : Deutsche VersionTrustees an other individuals : English version

Are Trustees Payment Service Providers?

By accepting money in order to transfer it, trustees could satisfy the definition of the so called money remittance business. 

Even in the case that the activity of a trustee does in fact satisfy the definition of a payment service, the case can be made that trustees are not supposed to be regulated. In the context of fiduciary activities the acceptance and remittance of moneys is in many cases only a means to an end. It could therefore be the case, that money remittance is to be seen as an unregulated ancillary service as defined in the payment service directive. However, in its “Lieferheld-Urteil” (reference number: 81 O 91/11) the Cologne District Court (Landgericht Köln) opposed a general privilege for ancillary services. 

A legal examination is therefore the more advisable the more the focus of the activity is on money remittance.

If trustees were subject to the regulations it would be particularly problematic, that only legal entities or commercial companies can obtain a licence to provide payment services. Individuals are explicitly excluded from being granted a licence (see section 9 No 1 ZAG). The ZAG does not contain any exceptions from this principle. Individuals acting as trustees could no longer offer their services.